A man with no first aid training brought his dad back to life after his heart stopped suddenly by copying what he’d seen on TV.
Wayne Johnstone, 36, jumped into action when his dad, Stuart, 73, suffered a cardiac arrest at home and performed CPR.
Although Wayne had never practiced the manoeuvre before, he used his instinct and what he’d previously seen on television to bring his dad back from the brink of death.
Wayne, who lives opposite his dad in Blyth, Northumberland had been fitting a ceiling in his parents’ kitchen and was returning from lunch when he learned what had happened.
“When I got to the front door my mam came running out, screaming,” he recalled.
“I asked her what the matter was and she said ‘something’s happened to your dad’.
“I ran straight in and my dad was lying face down by the stairs, unresponsive.
“When I rolled him over his face was blue and purple, and he wasn’t breathing.”
Desperate not to lose his father, Wayne immediately started CPR until his heart restarted.
“I’d never done it before, it was just instinct and what I’d seen on TV,” he said.
“My uncle Norman was there at the time. He held my dad’s head because we thought he was going to swallow his tongue.
“We rang the ambulance and they were telling us what to do.
“I couldn’t tell you what was going through my head, I just wanted to keep him alive.”
Wayne gave Stuart CPR for 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived and paramedics took over, giving him two shots of adrenaline and four shots with a defibrillator.
Doctors later said that Wayne had given Stuart’s organs the best possible chance of survival.
His battle was far from over though, as he was given two hours to live when he first arrived at hospital and his family desperately waited for news.
“They said they had two hours for the medication to work, and if it didn’t work he would die,” said Wayne. “They gave him two days to live after that – it just kept going and going.
“He picked up an infection after two days in hospital. At one point his kidneys started to fail, and he wasn’t responding.
“When he came round and they took him off the ventilator he was very confused. He didn’t know where he was or what had happened, and they were worried about him having brain damage.”
Gradually Stuart’s condition started to improve, and he returned home on Saturday, May 15, after six weeks in hospital.
To the delight of his three children and nine grandchildren, scans have shown that Stuart has not been left with any brain damage or scarring on his heart.
A former mechanic and chemical plant worker, before going to hospital Stuart worked full time training people with disabilities and mental health issues to use machinery.
Wayne said: “The doctors said he had an out of hospital cardiac arrest – his heart just stopped beating. That’s how it happened so quickly.
“He’s had three stents fitted but his brain is 100 per cent perfect and there’s no damage whatsoever. He’s absolutely great.”
Wayne described the six weeks since his dad was admitted to hospital as “absolutely terrible”.
“He’s the glue that holds us all together, it was unbearable to think we were going to lose him.
“I’m just glad he’s here now.”